I’ve always been interested in the relationship between popular music and visual art, and the Northwest Film Forum is offering a number of intriguing interdisciplinary screenings and performances as part of their 11th annual ByDesign series, which runs from Friday, July 20, through Wednesday, July 25.
If I could call out one title, it would be Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis. I was hoping to make it to the press screening, but I had to work. From the description, it sounds like essential viewing for fans of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the other musicians who've taken advantage of Thorgerson's mind-bending services. Composer Chris Brokaw, who now makes his home in Seattle, will be performing live after the screening on Saturday, July 21.
Storm Thorgerson's album covers are some of the most evocative and visually-arresting images in popular culture. After studying film, he co-founded famed graphic art company Hipgnosis in the late-1960s. Over the decades, Thorgerson has created memorable artwork for Pink Floyd, T. Rex, the Pretty Things, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Peter Gabriel, AC/DC, ELO, XTC, the Cranberries, and the Mars Volta. Taken By Storm illuminates his career and unique process, and includes interviews with musicians (David Gilmour, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel) and contemporary visual artists (Peter Blake, Damien Hirst). This special screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director and a reception with live performance by Chris Brokaw, who created original music for the film.
ByDesign's Entropy program showcases innovative short films and music videos by artists and groups from around the globe. Using a variety of creative techniques, these films reflect the rapidly dissolving lines between design, art, movies, and music. This year's survey features over a dozen new works, including a demented, animation intermission film from Kansas City group MK12, an elegant essay film by UK collective the Light Surgeons, and a music video for Jim Guthrie by Seattle artist Andy Rohrman.
Sean Pecknold has used a variety of stop-motion animation techniques and live-action photography to create surreal short films, commercials, and music videos for Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Elvis Perkins, Here We Go Magic, and others. This program features work created by Pecknold over the past five years. He and collaborator Britta Johnson will be in attendance for a post-screening discussion, sharing behind-the-scenes material.
Tickets for events, including a full series pass, are available online at www.nwfilmforum.org or by phone at 1.800.838.8006. Series schedule here.